Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Dark Ages of Technology: The History of Rogue Trader

Since painting my first Rogue Trader miniature I have become increasingly interested in the game itself. Its been 24 years since I last played and I have no real memories of of the game. All I recall is the damp darkness of my friend's bungalow attic, the smell of mouldy carpets and ranks of appallingly splattered space marines and orks. 

It certainly has an interesting history of development. GW always stated that they would release a game called Rogue Trader that would be a space age adventure roleplay system similar to Traveller. It took on many guises over the years but had mutated beyond the original remit. Bryan Ansell had control of the company by '86, saw where the money was and commissioned big book versions of Warhammer Fantasy and Science Fiction to help sell the miniatures churning out of Citadel Foundry. Rogue Trader was around, so it was affixed to the Warhammer brand and the most successful wargame in history was born. 

Enigmatic advert for Rogue Trader, published on the inner front cover of White Dwarf 91. The first major advert for the game published. 

Along the way the game evolved from a wacky science fiction skirmish game into a detailed, large scaled battlegame that involved vehicles, fortifications and a great deal of Space Marines. My intention is the explore this journey through articles in WD; providing commentary and review of each and every release in order. I plan to include the original articles, adverts, rulesets etc as images on this blog and as pdfs elsewhere.

Why? It interests me.

I have a feeling it may well interest others.

See you soon.



  1. Will you be covering the other Rogue Trader, which finally delivered on the promise, only twenty-ish years late?

  2. It will interest me. WH40K was the first minis game I really got into back in the day.

  3. This is going to be most interesting - I wonder if GW is looking for a resident historian? ;)